Making Moving Easy for the Kids

Here are eight simple steps to make things easier on you and the little ones (and teenagers as well).

  1.  Keep them informed- Let your children know as soon as possible that you might be moving. Don’t wait till the day before your move to inform them that they will have to say goodbye to all their friends and that they will be going to a new school. The older your child is, the more roots they will have and the more time they will need to handle this disruption. Generally, the longer time children have to process the information, the more likely they will cope with change better.
  2. Validate their feelings- Expect some resistance. This is normal. But by listening to you children and acknowledging their feelings, your children will feel they are being heard, and that their concerns are being taken into account.
  3. Talk about the move- If this is their first move, talk to them about what will happen during the move. It is important that they know what to expect during the moving process, so that they will feel everything is normal and going according to plan.
  4. Talk about where you are moving to-Go to the internet and look together for photos and information of where you are moving to. This will take the mystery out of going to a new and unknown place, and dispel some of their fears. Children are usually concerned about leaving their friends behind, and not making new friends or not being liked where they are moving to. Let them know that they will still be able to keep in touch with their old friends via phone or email, and show them that the new place is not that different from where you are now.
  5. Include them- It’s important for children to feel like they are part of the family process. If you are starting to make lists of what you want to take with you, or pre- packing items, give them a chance to collaborate.
  6. Allow them to make their own decisions-If you can’t take it all with you; let them choose what they want to take and what can stay behind from their belongings. If they are having trouble deciding, help them with the decision. But don’t decide for them or without their input.
  7. Remind them to say goodbye to their friends-It is possible that children might be in a state of denial about the family’s impending move. As such, they might not bother to say their goodbyes, and on the day of the move they will regret not having done so. Remind them that the move is real, and if they are having trouble telling their friends about it, discuss why and even help them. You can even through a goodbye party for your child and all their friends, or have one last sleep over. It’s a memory they will cherish.
  8. On the day of the move allow them to be with their friends-The day of the move is the most stressful for everybody. The same goes for children. Their will be strangers in the house, their “stuff” will be disappearing into a truck or container, and everybody will be running around. Seeing all this commotion is bound to cause a lot of anxiety in children. They might have questions, and need reassurance, yet you will be too busy dealing with the movers and other last minute details to answer any concerns they might have. They will likely interfere with the work of the movers, or be bored with nothing to do. For all these reasons, arrange for a play date for children under 10 or younger, or allow your older children to spend the day with friends, or go to the movies.

We hope that if you follow these simple steps, you will find that moving is a much more pleasant experience than you thought possible.

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